7 Best Substitutes For White Onions

Onions are great in soups; onions are great in stews, sauces, and salads. More so, many people use it as stuffing too.

Indeed, onions are a versatile ingredient that is widely used in cuisines and households. And when you want to enjoy the taste of onions, serve them sautéed.

White onions are one of many other types of onions that do justice in offering great flavor to recipes. They have a strong flavor that would so compliment many dishes.

Their outstanding characteristics may seem irreplaceable however; there are excellent substitutes for white onions. Red onions, yellow onions, scallions, and celery are great substitutes for white onions.


What are white onions?

Enriched with many nutrients, white onions are great condiments that are filled with many nutritional values. Many people eat onions raw, while others can easily fry or cook them as it pleases. No wonder it is popular in cuisines.

Although it is very much like red onions, it is crunchy and tender and contains high sugar content. White onions have a stronger and spicier flavor than yellow onions and other regular onions.

Although white onions are great onions, they are just slightly different from other onions, which is why you can easily replace them.

Now let us see the best substitutes for onions.

7 Best Substitutes For White Onions

1. Red onions

red onions

Red onions are also commonly used in many cuisines and households for cooking. It offers a distinct and sweet flavor to dishes. Above all, it is one of the healthiest tomatoes.

Red onions also are packed with so many health benefits compared to other onions, as it contains a high amount of antioxidants. Many people use purplish-red skin as a dye.

When it is time to make stew, you can chop or dice them the way you want. And when you want to add it to risotto, you can slice it evenly and stuff it in your risotto to give it that crunchy feeling.

Add red onions to your pilafs and salsas too and enjoy. So, Red onions can easily replace white onions in a recipe that calls for white onions.

So, do not be afraid to use red onions in place of white onions. However, before then, here is a necessary thing you should know: onions can make the eye tear, so you are careful when cutting, chopping, or slicing the onions.

2. Yellow onions

yellow onions

Yellow onions are a great substitute for white onions when it is time to replace the white onions recipes. The yellow onions come in brown too. The inside of the onions can be white, yellow, or white.

Yellow onions, because of their high content in sulfur, have a more defined flavor. So, it would be strong eating it raw. However, when you use it to cook, the strong flavor becomes sweeter. It is even better because of its ability to hold heat.

You will most likely reap enough benefits if you are for caramelizing and roasting. Yellow onions also vary in size, shape, and color.

Taste: yellow onions have a strong flavor, however, it is not overpowering. To enhance the taste of the onions, slice or dice and caramelize them.

3. Shallots


Shallots (Allium ascalonicum) are the member Allium family. Shallots are closely related to onions, garlic, and chives. Shallot is a great substitution for white onions. It has a more intense flavor than onions and garlic, however; it is not harsh.

And like regular onions, you can eat them raw, but to get the intense flavor, cook them. Shallots add so many flavors to dishes, so if you want to cook with white onions but cannot get a hold of them, then use shallots.

Taste: compared to onions, shallots have a milder flavor, but they are a suitable replacement for white onions. More so, white onions and yellow onions can also replace in meals or recipes.

4. Scallions


Scallion is a vegetable of the scallion and is closely related to chives, garlic, leek, and even shallots. Also, known as spring onions or green onions because it has a variety of your onion, scallions are vegetables derived from species in the genus Allium.

Although the scallion looks nothing like onions, it has a sharp flavor that is like onions. However, the sharp flavor is mild. And since it grows in bunches, many people refer to it as bunchy onions.

Taste of scallions: when it comes to flavor, scallions have a sharper and slightly peppery flavor than white and yellow onions.

So, you can replace white onions with chopped scallion.

5. Celery


Celery is a great vegetable that many know of its sharp and aromatic nature. Many people will prefer to use it in their recipes because it is a significant source of antioxidants with other nutritional benefits.

Sometimes, celery has a complex flavor because it has both mild and sharp flavors. What can you use celery for?

You can use celery to make salads and sandwiches. You can use celery to make stews too just before your stew produces that aromatic smell. Add the celery into it so it enhances the flavor of the stews.

6. Chives


The scientific name of chives is Allium Schoenoprasum; it is a species of flowering plant in the family of Amarylidaceae. The leaves and the flowers of chives are edible.

Chives are closely related to regular onions, garlic, shallot, leeks, and scallion. It is popularly grown as a culinary herb. O, it is widely used in cuisines and kitchens.

Chives are great substitutes for white onions. So, you can replace it in a pinch when the time calls for it.

7. Onion flakes and onion powder

onion flakes and onion powder

Another great substitute for white onions are onion flakes and onion powder. Both onion flakes and onion powder are dehydrated onions.

The difference is that while onion flakes are chopped, onion powder is grounded into a fine powder, hence the name onion powder.

Onion powder has a more defined flavor compared to onion flakes. Many people would prefer onion powder to onion flakes because it has a taste that is more potent and spreads evenly in recipes.

Read: 7 Best Spring Onion Substitutes

Frequently asked questions

Are white onions and red onions the same?

Both white onions and red onions are great and they are essential in the kitchen. However, they are not the same. If your recipe strictly calls for white onions and you use red onions, you might not get the same consistency as intended.

But if your recipe calls for any of them, then you can use any of them for your recipe.


Sometimes it sounds like an unending task looking for the best substitute to suit the condiment in your recipe, especially when your main ingredient is filled with characteristics and nutrients.

In this guide, we provided the best substitute for white onions and how they differ from white onions. Replace your white onions with red onions, yellow onions, shallots, scallion, celery and onion powder, or onion flakes.

We hope you make the right choice.